This Friday, June 6 all 13 episodes of the popular show Orange is the New Black will debut on Netflix. If you haven’t had the chance yet to watch the first season, trust me, it’s a must see and you’ll find yourself binge-watching its entirety within a weekend, I know I did. You can watch the trailer for the second season above.
Yet while the second season of this hit Netflix series was shot last fall, a visit by Associated Press found several actresses who were very willing to say their piece about the new season. “The hardest part of the show was finding my character before they said ‘Action!’ the first day,” said TV veteran Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager, Ryan’s Hope) who plays tough-as-nails Russian inmate “Red” Reznikov, formerly in charge of the kitchen at the correctional facility. “You have to be able to show her toughness and, through her toughness, her heart – and you had to show it from the first shot.” As shown from the past season Mulgrew has no issues showing off how strong, yet at some points vulnerable Red is, so I’m certain this season will be no different. The 59-year-old actress says it’s been a blast: “This is not a vanity role, she says, “but I’m of an age now where none of that is as important as it once was. To find a role this rich, nuanced, and specific is absolutely joyful for me. It’s liberating.”
Danielle Brooks, who plays the effervescent “Taystee” Jefferson, also doesn’t see her character as a vanity role. “There are times when I’m like, ‘Can we please do my eyebrows? Can I get a little more foundation?” Brooks says between laughs. “But I truly enjoy the freedom of coming to work, not having to wear Spanx or extensions, to just be me. You can’t hide anything here, it’s really freeing.” Brooks, who got big break on this series after graduating from Julliard, only hopes the audience will be able to relate to her character. “We all cry, we all bleed, we all hurt. I want everyone to see Taystee, who they feel so far away from, and realize ‘I’ve felt like her before’.”
Though it’s almost impossible to imagine her in any other role, Uzo Aduba apparently did not get the Orange role she auditioned for. It wasn’t until later when she found out she was cast as the lovable, but mostly unstable “Crazy Eyes” Warren. “That was exciting, but at the same time I’m wondering: what was it about my audition that made them think, ‘she’d make a great Crazy Eyes’?” Aduba is not upset with the casting, she praises the complexities of her character “who has an innocence about her like a child, except children aren’t scary! But when I tried her on, it felt like the right part of me. I felt right at home.”
Newcomer to the series, Lorraine Toussaint, best known for Saving Grace and Friday Night Lights, claims to already have “fallen in love” with her character Vee Parker, a charismatic former drug dealer who used kids as her mules. “It’s an interesting love affair,” she says. “I get to dance with my shadow self. I get to sit in the backseat watching Vee drive the car, and she drives fast and dangerously. I get to be surprised by who she is and what she does, because I’m seeing her from the inside out.”
It’s an interesting take on her acting, but I certainly can’t wait to see how she puts that into her work with this new character. Toussaint did admit that she didn’t know the show when she was originally cast. “I’m only now catching up on season 1, but it’s very good!” Take cues from her and definitely watch or re-watch this show before the new season comes out. It’s definitely worth every second and is a gripping, relatable, and fascinating story about these women. With the way Netflix is pumping out these addicting and incredible shows, it’s a wonder anyone watches live TV anymore. For more words from this cast, look to the video below and get pumped for Friday!